Encinitas councilman, Cardiff resident join forces to launch new publication

Mark Muir, Julie Thunder create hyperlocal newsletter


The first edition of the Cardiff Current, not affiliated with the North Coast Current, was emailed to subscribers in January. (Cardiff Current screen capture)

Mike Peterson

A new monthly newsletter headed by Encinitas Councilman Mark Muir and resident Julie Thunder launched last month.

The first issue of the Cardiff Current was sent to a pool of email addresses earlier in January. It covered various topics such as crime, real estate and local businesses. The publication is not affiliated with the North Coast Current, in operation since 2002.

Muir said the newsletter is meant to be an informational publication that’s focused on the Cardiff-by-the-Sea community. That includes local stories as well as larger city issues that may impact residents.

“Our original goal, conceptually, was just to have a community newspaper online and just focus on issues that were important to Cardiff,” Muir said.

He added that each subsequent edition might highlight a Cardiff resident, and they will all feature a different “video explainer.” One of the ultimate goals, Muir said, is to simplify complicated issues so that readers can better understand them.

“What we’re trying to do is break down some of the confusing or difficult issues to understand,” Muir said. “And put them in layman’s terms.”

Per the City Council’s vote to switch to district-based elections, Cardiff-by-the-Sea falls within District 3. Muir would become the council member from District 3 if he is re-elected this November.

Thunder said she had been toying with the idea of a hyperlocal news outlet for some time.

“I grew up in a small town and it had a small paper … if you wanted to know something about town, you read the paper every day,” Thunder said. “And everybody talked about what was in the paper that day. I kind of wanted that for Cardiff.”

That’s when Muir approached her with his own idea to reach out to Cardiff residents.

“We kind of both arrived to it at the same time,” Thunder said. “It was perfect timing.”

Although Muir is a member of the City Council and Thunder has been active in local Encinitas politics, they both said that the Cardiff Current did not have an explicitly political agenda.

“We both agreed that we didn’t want it to be a political voice,” Thunder said. “We want it to be informative and fun, not political and biased.”

Work on the newsletter began in December, Thunder said. Along with Muir, they both produce all of the content in the newsletter.

The first edition of the Cardiff Current was sent to a list of emails that Muir and Thunder had collected over the years. In the first four hours after it was sent over, the Cardiff Current received around 100 new subscribers, Muir said.

As far as the similarity in name between the Cardiff Current and the North Coast Current, Thunder said she had never heard of the latter publication.

The North Coast Current, based in Encinitas, was founded in 2002 and has published content online for the city’s communities since that time, including occasional promotional print editions.

Muir said that there would likely be little confusion since the two Currents differ in form and focus.

Mike Peterson is a North County freelance writer